Effectiveness of Counseling in Influencing Attitudes Towards Seeking Help

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Student Presentation

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Matthew Genuchi


Seeking professional help for psychological problems can be highly beneficial to a person’s physical and emotional health (Lambert & Ogles, 2004). However, large-scale epidemiological research shows that generally negative attitudes towards seeking professional help are a major barrier to engagement in counseling and psychotherapeutic services (Corrigan, 2004). General sex differences in behaviors and attitudes towards help seeking have been consistently demonstrated. The purpose of this study was to investigate changes in attitudes towards help seeking after a low-risk counseling experience as well as sex differences in AHS in a sample of college students. We completed this investigation by measuring attitudes towards seeking professional psychological help in a sample of college students receiving counseling for course extra credit in a graduate training clinic. A significant difference in mean pretest and posttest scores, t (88) = 6.56, p < .05, indicated that participant AHS were more positive after receiving counseling. Unexpectedly, women reported more negative AHS before counseling than men. Interestingly, the hypothesis that men would report more negative attitudes towards help seeking than women was not supported. This result is not consistent with the general literature on sex differences in AHS.

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